“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness… teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
“Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that… while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
1 Pet. 3:1-4
Order of Contents
Counsel to the Pregnant & Young Mothers
Alexander, Archibald – ‘Counsels to Christian Mothers’ no date or source info 27 paragraphs
Hodge, Charles – ‘Introduction’ to The Faithful Mother’s Reward: a Narrative of the Conversion and Happy Death of J.B., who Died in the Tenth Year of His Age 1853 9 pp.
Miller, Samuel – ‘The Appropriate Duty & Ornament of the Female Sex, a Sermon on Acts 9:36-41’ in The Columbian Preacher (1808), p. 249 ff.
Smyth, Thomas – ‘The Sphere, Character & Destiny of Woman’ in Works, vol. 10 American, southern presbyterian
Aids to Beautification 1983 9 pp.
Kayser shows that adorning ourselves for the purpose of beauty, while it can be abused, is good, intended of God and Biblical. The short article has specific regard to Jewelry, Cosmetics and Perfume.
Beeke, Joel – ‘The Creation of Woman’ no date 9 pp.
Mather, Cotton – Ornaments for the Daughters of Zion, or the Character & Happiness of a Virtuous Woman: in a Discourse which Directs the Female-Sex how to Express, the Fear of God, in Every Age & State of their Life, & Obtain Both Temporal & Eternal Blessedness (Cambridge, 1692) 102 pp.
ed. Irwin, Joyce – ‘[Gisbert] Voetius on Women’ in Anna Marie van Schurman, Whether a Christian Woman Should be Educated and Other Writings from her Intellectual Circle (Univ. of Chicago, 1998), pp. 17-21
On the View of Andrew Rivet
Willem van Asselt in Theology of the French Reformed Churches (RHB, 2014), p. 268
“With Anna Maria van Schurman in Utrecht, renowned for her learning, he [Rivet] had a frequent correspondence on the question of whether Christian women ought to study arts and letters. He supported Schurman in her intellectual pursuits but saw her as an exception to the female norm.”
Counsel to the Pregnant about to Give Birth
Mather, Cotton – Elizabeth in her Holy Retirement. An Essay to Prepare a Pious Woman for her Lying in, or Maxims & Methods of Piety, to Direct & Support an Handmaid of the Lord who Expects a Time of Travail (Boston, 1710) 36 pp.
Counsel to Mothers Regarding Day Care
Erasmus, Desiderius – ‘A Dialogue of a Woman in Child-Bed’ in Seven Dialogues… 5. is of Putting Forth Children to Nurse... (d. 1536; London, 1606) 25 pp.
It had become fashionable in Erasmus’s day for mothers to give their infants to wet-nurses to nurse for them. Erasmus, through this dialogue of two women, argues that this is not natural or ideal for the baby’s development.
Hall, Thomas – ‘An Appendix containing Diverse Reasons & Arguments Against Painting, Spots, Naked Backs, Breasts, Arms, etc. Together with a Discovery of the Nakedness, Madness and Folly of the Adamites [Nudists] of our Time, a Refutation of all their Cavils, & Removing of All Those Fig-Leaves under which they would Hide Themselves’ in The Loathsomeness of Long Hair [for Men]… (London, 1654)
Hall (1610–1665) was an English, presbyterian, puritan minister who was ejected at the Great Ejection of 1662.
Voet, Gisbert – pt. 2, bk. 1, tract 4, ‘On Women’, pp. 179-212 in Ecclesiastical Politics, vol. 3 (Amsterdam, 1663-1676)
Ch. 1, Questions about the Status and Natural Condition of Women, p. 179
Section 1, p. 179
2nd Question, ‘Whether a woman is an error of nature, an imperfect male, and is born by accident, and therefore is a deformity [monstrum]? [No]’, p. 181 3 reasons from Scripture, 5 from reason, p. 182
4th Question, ‘Whether a female may truly mutate into a male [e.g. hermaphrodites at birth]?’ p. 184
5th Question, ‘Whether the man and woman [Adam & Eve] were created simultaneously; even their two persons having been conjoined together, but thereafter having been divided or separated by God? [No]’ p. 185
Some Romanists and Jews held to such. “…But this figment will vanish from reading the text…”
7th Question, ‘Whether the woman was brought forth on the 6th Day? [Yes]’, p. 186
“Thomas denies… But authors cited hold the opposite, and Lipomanus, Pererius, Marius, A Lapide in his commentary, Bonaventure (2, distinction 18, question 2), and us commonly in notes and commentaries.” 2 reasons, p. 187
1st & 2nd Objections, pp. 188-91, with responses
3rd Objection, p. 191, 2 responses
Ch. 2. Of Those Things which Pertain to the Secular & Political State of Women, p. 198
Section 1, p. 198
1st Question, ‘Whether women may be infereior in dignity to men? [Yes]’, p. 198
“I respond: Yes, from the affirmation and reasons brought by the Apostle in 1 Cor. 11 & 1 Tim. 2, which I will not repeat here. The same Nature speaks (as the apostle adduces on the question of the hair of the woman, 1 Cor. 11:13-15); and by natural law, inscribed on all hearts, either explicitly, or surely implicitly.’
2nd Question, ‘Whether women may be inferior to this extent, such that in the state of marriage they ought to be in subjection just as female-servants? I respond: No.’, p. 198
3rd Question, ‘Whether the superiority of a man over a wife may extend to striking [verbera] her?’, p. 199
“This question we have handled above, [vol. 2,] part 1, bk. 3, tract 1, section 3, ch. 3, [‘Of Repudiations & Divorces, by which things the Bond of Matrimony itself is Loosed’, Question 11, ‘Whether it may be allowed in marriage, or convenient, to chastise the wife with strikes?’, pp. 185-6] nor are we repeating it here.”
In Question 11 Voet cites numerous authors for it (including Alsted) and then others against it, including Gerhard and Beza. “Our opinion is No, including from the following  reasons…”
In the 3rd Question Voet cites numerous authors both for and against the practice, and then quotes Chrysostom at length, being strongly against it.
4th Question, ‘Whether a marriage may hold the right of life and slaughter with respect to the wife? I respond: No.’, p. 200
5th Question, ‘Whether women may or ought to exercise public command and rule? [Ordinarily no, except in extreme necessity]’, p. 201
6th Question, ‘Whether arms and wars ought to be borne by women? [We distinguish]’, p. 202
7th Question, ‘Whether studes of wisdom and literature may be convenient for women? [a qualified Yes]’, p. 202
8th Question, ‘Whether women ought to be externally distinguished from men, and in what way? [It ought to be distinguished…]’, pp. 205-6 3 conclusions
Ch. 3. Some Things which Pertain to the Spiritual & Ecclesiastical State of Women are Explained, p. 206
1st Question, ‘Whether there may be a distinction between men and women as to their ecclesiastical state?’, p. 206, 2 conclusions: No and Yes.
2nd Question, ‘Whether women are more religious than men? I respond: Yes.’ p. 206-7 3 reasons
Voet says that there were significantly more women members in the Dutch churches than men, as well as that frequented public exercises of religion. He then evidences the same from the ancient Church.
3rd Question, ‘Whether a woman has a greater propensity to superstition? I respond: This is commonly affirmed.’, p. 207
4th Question, ‘Whether women have a greater propensity to heresies? I respond: No.’, p. 208
5th Question, ‘Whether women and men are to be equally admitted to sacred exercises, whether public, private or private-public? I respond: Yes.’ pp. 209-12
Objection, p. 210